Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oh, Baby!

Oh, Baby!, The World's Greatest Sandwich or we affectionately call it the BELTCH (Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese) Whatever you call it, it's really good. Really good. Oh, baby good! Adam Sandler plays a chef in the movie, "Spanglish" and just before he takes a bite of his late-night snack creation, he exclaims, "Oh, baby!" Ya, it really is that good. That, my friends, is one of the greatest moments in all of motion picture history! You just have to try the sandwich:
3-4 thick slices of bacon
2 slices monterey jack cheese
2 slices rustic country bread (really good bread- I'll have to post my buttermilk bread recipe. It's perfect for theses- but any good bread will do), toasted
4 slices tomato
2 butter lettuce leaves
1 tsp. butter
1 egg

1. Cook the bacon til crisp. You can fry it on the stove or on nuke it on paper towels in the microwave. Drain on paper towels.
2.Place the cheese slices on one of the toasted breads and put under broiler until cheese is melted. Watch it closely.
3.Spread the other slice of bread with mayo and top with tomato slices, bacon and lettuce.
4. Melt the butter in a skillet and fry the egg on medium heat. When the bottom is set, turn over, but don't cook too long. Leave yolk runny. (over easy)
5. Slide the egg onto the lettuce and top with the melted cheesy bread. Put the sandwich on a plate, cut in half, letting the yolk run down the sandwich. The egg yolk makes kind of a sauce that permeates and Oh, baby!

Oh, and if you wish you can make a BELTCH-O by adding a slice of onion. Honestly, what can it hurt?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mormon Pina Coladas

Beat the heat with a delicious, easy virgin Pina Colada. These are so easy to make, and like any "smoothie" recipe, you can throw in whatever additions you'd like: banana is good, and a squirt of fresh lime will let you sing the song as you blend. "You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up." Did I just date myself? Blend this up, and stretch out with a good book this afternoon! I think I will.

Mormon Pina Coladas
Fill you blender half full with pineapple juice
Add 3 T. Coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
Fill the blender with ice. Blend and serve.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chocolate Eclairs

Why is it that the idea of making cream puffs or chocolate eclairs seems so hard and scary. They really aren't that hard, and I think they are really fun to make. This recipe is really for cream puffs and you can fill them however you wish: savory or sweet. A chicken salad tastes yummy. But by far my favorite is to make them into chocolate eclairs. Yummmmmmy!
Cream Puffs
1 cup boiling water (in a medium saucepan on the stove)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
Cut the butter into several pieces and put in the boiling water. When melted, add the flour and salt all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Stir and cook and cook and stir until the mixture forms a big lump or ball that doesn't separate. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with your wooden spoon until well combined after each egg. Put in an egg. Beat and beat and beat until the egg is all consumed. Add the next and do the same. Do it for all four eggs.
Drop dough by heaping Tablespoons, as round as possible, onto a greased cookie sheet (or you can use a sil-pat) They should be at least three inches apart. Bake in a preheated 450 (yes, that hot) oven for 15 minutes. Leave them in, and reduce the heat to 300 and bake for another 25 minutes or so until browned and pretty. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. When completely cool, gently remove the top of each cream puff. It should be hollow in the middle. While you're waiting for them to cool, mix the filling:
1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped OR 1 8 oz. tub cool whip
1 box instant vanilla pudding, made with 1/2 the milk called for in the recipe
Fold the cream and the pudding together and fill the puffs. Replace the tops. Top with chocolate glaze.
Chocolate Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 T. cocoa powder
3 T. hot milk (just put some milk in the microwave and heat. Then add it to the frosting a spoon at a time to get the right consistency- so use about 3T.)

OR An easy way to make a glaze is to heat canned chocolate frosting.

Another delicious idea:
Instead of the pudding, fill the puffs with sliced strawberries (sprinkled with sugar), and whipped cream. Replace the tops and dust with powdered sugar.

Cream Wafers

I received the Betty Crocker cookbook for a shower gift before I was married 34 years ago. I loved looking through the book, and was especially intrigued by this picture of these beautiful cookies. But I never made them, just drooled over the picture. Then many years later, I attended a family gathering to which my cousin brought these little beauties. I was hooked. They are even more delicious than they look. I've since made them for several parties, showers, luncheons, and teas. They are a bit labor intensive, but so worth the effort. These will definitely be in my Top Ten Favorite Cookies book when I get that made. I love these little melt in your mouth cookies. Enjoy!

1 cup butter
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups flour
Blend together. You may have to use your hands to get it all mixed together, but so do lightly. Chill dough at least 1 hour.
Roll dough 1/2 inch thick (I like them this thick- you can do them thinner). Cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds. Put some sugar on a plate and dip the rounds on both sides in the sugar, then place on a cookie sheet. When you have your cookie sheet filled, prick each round with a fork four times- in a row looks nice. Bake just 6 minutes at 350. Remove from sheet and let cool on rack. If you wish, pack in an airtight container to frost the next day.

Cream filling:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Blend well with beaters. Divide filling into as many small dishes as you wish and use food color to color the filling. You can match wedding or shower colors, baby shower colors (blue or pink), pastels look so pretty for a spring party or tea party. Carefully put filling between two wafers. The wafers are very fragile. If one breaks, I guess you just have to eat it!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hummus and Veggie Wrap

from Taste of Home Magazine (Michael Steffens)
Healthy, easy, and oh, so delightfully refreshing.

mixed salad greens
sweet onion, chopped
sliced cucumber
alfalfa sprouts
shredded carrot
balsamic vinaigrette

Spread 2 Tbsp hummus on a tortilla. Top with mixed salad greens, chopped sweet onion, sliced cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, and shredded carrot. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette. Roll Tightly. Makes 1 wrap.

Roasted Butternut Linguine

from Taste of Home Magazine.
Healthy, easy, yummy, and perfect for the upcoming Fall season when butternut squash is inexpensive.

Prep: 10 min
Bake: 45 min
Yield: 4 servings

4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups shredded swiss chard (I just used romaine)
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage (I substituted dried marjoram)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Place the squash and onion on a tin-foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle pepper flakes over veggies and toss to coat.
2. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Add the squash mixture, Swiss chard, sage, salt and pepper; toss to combine.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Buttermilk Syrup

I've been gone for over six weeks, helping Shonna and her family through a difficult pregnancy. One morning, while there, I made this buttermilk syrup. It is so delicious. My son-in-law made buttermilk waffles to go with it. I'll tell you what- this was GOOOOOOD! Those waffles were light and crispy and man, I wish I had some right now. He promised to post the waffle recipe if I posted the syrup recipe, so here you have it:

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 T. corn syrup (dark or light is fine)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla

In a large (it boils up, so use a big pan) saucepan, stir together all the ingredients EXCEPT the vanilla. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
Obviously, this is delicious on waffles or pancakes, but you could pour it over ice cream or whatever you want. It's really good.
Okay, Blake, now your turn!